One of my kids was extremely fearful of dogs. There was no way I would have even considered bringing a dog into our home, when she was so young. When she was 6, we purchased a very well bred Samoyed puppy. We had visited the puppies several times. My daughter did great. If this child is truly that fearful, I think it is a huge mistake to push her into trying to like the dog. Another family child was bitten by a dog. She was equally terrified of dogs, including my poor old GSD, Annie. Annie adored kids, but his child was so frightened of her, that on one visit to my home, she was afraid to come out of my basement. Her mother was also here in my house. She called her mother on her cell phone, from my basement. You just can't rationalize that kind of fear, or make light of it. As Karin stated, the child may need to see a therapist.
As I stated previously, and someone else mentioned - it could be an act, seeking attention. A kid used to visit my house pretty frequently. He claimed to be afraid of Annie. I had to restrict Annie whenever he came over. I finally got tired of it. I said, "Listen, Annie lives here. She isn't going to hurt you. It isn't fair to lock her up every time you come over." Guess what? He was suddenly not afraid of Annie anymore.
This is not an easy fix. You need to be sensitive to the needs of the child and the dog. I know people are saying put the dog in a crate, have the kid feed treats, blah, blah, blah. I see the dog trapped in the crate, while the kid is screaming and crying - freaked out kid, freaked out dog. I wouldn't do it. No way!
Natty Boh 6-27-12
Annie 1998 - 8-2-12 RIP
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